Naughty, Naughty

Rough Around the Edges

Sweet Love, Survive



A Touch of Sin


Blonde Heat by Susan Johnson
(Bantam, $6.50, NC-17) ISBN 0-553-58255-4
Iím not a terribly picky reader. If the story has interesting characters and a serviceable plot, Iím relatively happy. Iím not on the lookout for the Great American Novel, and the majority of my reading falls under what most would consider a guilty pleasure. In fact, getting my guilty pleasure fix is the main reason why I like to pick up romance-erotica. Unfortunately, Johnsonís latest isnít a romance or even a mildly erotic read. What it does offer is cardboard characters, no plot whatsoever, and a bunch of sex talk without any juicy details.

What stands for the plot is as follows: three shallow, over-sexed female friends return to their backwoods hometown for the summer, and hook-up with three shallow, over-sexed, studly, well-endowed men. The three couples have marathon, multi-orgasmic sex, then proceed to have petty fights so the three female friends can get together, drink too much wine, eat too much chocolate, and rant about how useless men are - well outside having marathon, multi-orgasmic sex that is.


The characters, such as they are, are a grade Z version of Sex and the City. Lily is a cable TV star with her own Martha Stewart-like gardening show. Sheís back home to recover from a nasty divorce, and finds the perfect cure in a studly, well-endowed hockey player. Ceci is some sort of interior decorator/poet who believes in having lots of sex, with lots of partners, and meets her match in a studly, well-endowed male bimbo. Serena dates older, rich men who lavish her with expensive gifts, but finds true love with the studly, well-endowed town sheriff.

That pretty much sums up the entire 280 pages.

Double yawn.

I know. Who cares about the characters and plot when thereís bound to be oodles of steamy sex? Unfortunately the author merely skims the surface. In fact, the only reasons Blonde Heat landed under my NC-17 radar are the language, and a scene towards the last half of the book that features a character smoking an illegal herbal substance. Iíve gotten more satisfaction from a box of chocolates and bottle of cheap champagne.

While I did finish the story in a dayís time, Blonde Heat reads like the author was merely going through the motions. I canít recommend the plot. I canít recommend the characters. I canít even recommend the sex. Readers looking for a guilty pleasure would do better to put the $6.50 towards a chocolate and cheap champagne binge.

--Wendy Crutcher

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